Taken from Pete’s series What Will Jesus Do?.

Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; you have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.  — Cindy Ross

Some of you left home and never looked back. Over your shoulder existed too much pain, too much neglect, and too many stories that shouldn’t be retold. You left—broken—and somewhere along the way you encountered Jesus.

A new life.
A new story.
In a new place.

Pure salvation! People back home wouldn’t even recognize you! From that moment on, you were like, “Where You go, I’ll go. I’ll follow You to Europe. I’ll serve in the inner cities. Let’s learn Mandarin and go to Asia. Anywhere, Jesus. I’m Yours.”

Anywhere except back home.

The old places.
The old stories.
The old pain.

It all sounds like death and you’re too busy living life.

I understand completely. But Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and what He did with His followers then, He’ll do with His followers now. And in Luke 8:38, he asks a man to return home.

This man once lived among the dead, naked and possessed, until Jesus came to town. Now emptied of a legion of demons, the man was transformed. But rather than celebrate his healing, the townspeople begged the Healer to leave. And so Jesus left.

The man begged Jesus, “Take me with You! Don’t leave me here.”

But Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” (Luke 8:38b-39a)

The word for “home” here is oikos, and it means house—specifically the house where this man was raised.

Jesus was a magnificent strategist. What better way to demonstrate to people God’s transformative power than to send you—recently transformed—to the people who’ve always known you best? They will see the changes and hear of His grace and power. It’s brilliant.

But it’s also hard. How soon can you get there?

Lord, I offer to You my feelings about home today. I commit to opening myself to the idea that You demonstrate Your power and love through transformed people, and I am one of those. Encourage me, embolden me, but mostly walk with me down this road. Amen.